I’m sure you’ve seen the articles lately proclaiming that content is dead. Certainly, we’ve seen changes in how content is used for marketing purposes, from the keyword-stuffed articles and clickbait titles of the past to the vast array of options now available for reaching and educating consumers. Content is not dead, just different. Why else would 75% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget this year?
Savvy marketers know that the cost of acquiring customers has gone up by nearly 50%. When 47% of buyers still view three to five pieces of content before making a purchase, that content becomes a valuable marketing asset. But your content needs to evolve because keyword stuffing no longer helps SEO. And clickbait articles don’t provide value to your buyers. You need a content marketing strategy that works not just for you, but also for your customers.
Creating a Winning Content Strategy
Whether you already have a content marketing strategy in place or you’re planning one from the ground up, the following steps will help ensure you’re hitting all the right notes. But remember: the customer is key. Your brand will get nowhere without customers, so make them first in all you do.
Know Your Audience
Do you know who your ideal customers are? Are they Baby Boomers, Millennials, Generation Z? Are they women or men, single moms or married couples? What is their income level? Where do they live?
These questions only scratch the surface of knowing your audience. You have to dig deep into the psychographic dimensions of your buyers. Psychographic information tells you whyyour buyers do what they do. For instance, if you’re a lifestyle brand, you want to know which of your buyers aspire to a healthy lifestyle and how much time they will devote to that lifestyle. If you’re a luxury brand, you want to know which buyers yearn for the bragging rights that come with owning a name-brand product.
You can obtain information about your buyers’ psychographic dimensions in several different ways. First, consider interviewing some of your most devoted customers. Keeping an eye on your website’s analytics will also show who’s interested in your content. You should also be tracking social media followers and commenters to determine what your customers deem important.
Be ready to listen to the things those buyers aren’t saying, too. They may not want to admit that they’re price conscious, especially if owning designer goods is a key motivator. They may also tell you that exercising for a healthy lifestyle is critical to them, while their actions say otherwise.
Assess Your Position
With what your buyers want and need firmly in mind, assess your current content strategy and determine how it meets those wants and needs. Do your blog posts accurately convey your brand’s mission and vision? Do your videos reflect your brand’s voice and tone?
And don’t forget to keep an eye on your competitors. How do you stand out against them? What content are you creating that reflects how you’re different? You may find that you need a serious brush-up on your branding before moving forward.
It’s imperative that you identify what you want to achieve with your content strategy. Are you looking to build brand awareness? Grow your email list? Expand your audience or drive traffic to your website?
There are other goals to consider as well, such as conveying your brand vision, building consumer trust and loyalty, and inspiring sharing of your content. Without this second set of goals that builds trust with your customers, your content will not be as effective as you’d like.
Identify the Best Platforms
Knowing everything about your buyers doesn’t just help you create the content they want. It also helps determine where to share that content. With so many social media options available, it’s essential that you understand which platforms your audience is on, and when.
Here’s a breakdown of the biggest platforms and the age groups that use them.
- Ages 13-17: 51%
- Ages 18-29: 81%
- Ages 30-49: 78%
- Agues 50-64: 65%
- Ages 65+: 41%
- Ages 13-17: 72%
- Ages 18-29: 64%
- Ages 30-49: 40%
- Ages 50-64: 21%
- Ages 65+: 10%
- Ages 13-17: 32%
- Ages 18-29: 40%
- Ages 30-49: 27%
- Ages 50-64: 19%
- Ages 65+: 8%
- Ages 18-29: 29%
- Ages 30-49: 33%
- Ages 50-64: 24%
- Ages 65+: 9%
- Ages 13-17: 69%
- Ages 18-29: 68%
- Ages 30-49: 26%
- Ages 50-64: 10%
- Ages 65+: 3%
Plan with a Content Calendar
For a powerful content strategy, you need a roadmap that allows you to plan in advance how you will influence your customer’s journey.
Consider the content you’ll need for every stage of that journey. Some customers will have just discovered your brand and want to learn more. Others will be further along in their journey and may be considering a purchase. And there are those who are ready to buy. By creating a calendar, you can effectively plan your strategy to reach customers wherever they are in their journey by creating content that is relevant to them.
Checking your metrics regularly confirms what you’re doing right, but also what’s not working so you can pivot or tweak where you need to get on the right path.
Your results will come in various forms. Growing revenue is undoubtedly a sign that your content strategy is working, but don’t base everything on that. Check increased website traffic, follower growth, and an increase in shares and likes. These are early indicators that your content is gaining traction.
To further parse your results, use Google Analytics to see how visitors are getting to your site, how long they’re staying on which pages, and which case studies or white papers they are downloading.
Do you have a content marketing strategy for your business? Is it working? If not, we can help. Reach out any time.